Okay, this node presumes that there is some kind of afterlife or karma or whatever you want call it. It doesn’t consist of puffy clouds or angels playing harps or anything like that. It’s more like watching the events of your life roll by much like a river only this time, you get to see them from a distance. So, if any of you fellow writers and readers have philosophical differences with the concept of life after death, I suggest you move on. My intent is not convince you or to change your beliefs. I’ve leave that kinda stuff to those of us who feel more of a conviction towards that end.

Me? I’m just doing what I do.

When I was I kid, it was hard to picture my own mortality. Shit, even now it’s discomforting to think about what might lay beyond the world I’ve come to know and love. I don’t want to be getting all morbid and go off the deep end or anything but 2005 wasn’t the best of years for me for many reasons. I’ve had a couple of up close and personal dealings with the grim reaper and, depending on your viewpoint, am happy to say that he came away empty handed. What can I say, if I’m destined to suck at something, let it be death.

Some of my friends haven’t been so lucky. Another girl I’d like to consider a friend just lost her mother a week or so ago. I sent her a (prayer for the departed) hoping that the message, simple in nature but deep in content and context, would offer a few fleeting moments of comfort. I hope I wasn’t out of line.

Fare you well,
my honey
fare you well
my only true one.
All the birds
that were singing
are flown,
except you alone.

When my time does eventually come, I don’t think I’ll be going out in any kind of blaze of glory. My days of soldiering are long past me and I don’t envision myself jumping into a burning building to rescue infants or orphans any time soon. No. I picture my demise like a movie, the kind that does the slow fade to black as the credits roll across the screen and the music plays in the back round. The kind of movie where the audience doesn’t leave their seats until the house lights come back on and then everybody looks at each other and says how good it was and maybe dabs a tear away from the corner of their eye.

Gonna leave
this Brokedown Palace,
on my hands and my knees,
I will roll, roll, roll.
Make myself a bed
by the warm riverside,
In my time,
in my time,
I will roll, roll roll.

And wherever I am and whatever I’ve become, I hope I can still see the smiles and hear the laughter. Maybe even share in some of it someway somehow. And then I think, I can finally get some rest and lean my head back and watch from afar.

In a bed,
in a bed,
by the waterside
I will lay my head.
Listen to the river
sing sweet songs
to rock my soul.

And as I watch, I’ll have time to think. And as I think, I’d like to focus more on my accomplishments than the failures that haunted me while I was alive. I’m hoping that even the smallest of good deeds that reside in the deep dark recesses of my mind and memory will come back to life with clarity and precision. Many people I know that have left us way too early have lived a good and honest life. I hope I can say the same.

River gonna take me,
sing me sweet and sleepy,
Sing me sweet and sleepy
all the way back home.
It’s a far gone lullaby,
sung many years ago.
Mama, mama many worlds I’ve come
since I first left home.

Reflection or introspection or whatever you want to call it is a funny thing. There has to be some balance to it and it has to make sense. Every journey has to begin somewhere and if it begins, it has to end. Of course not all of them have happy endings but when the final numbers are tallied and the last tears have been shed, I’d like to think that most people would think of me as a “good man”. I think it would make my journey all the more pleasant.

Goin’ home,
goin’ home,
by the waterside
I will rest my bones,
Listen to the river
sing sweet songs,
to rock my soul.

I guess wherever I wind up, if indeed I wind up anywhere at all, there’ll always be reminders or evidence of my existence. I guess any flower is only as good as the soil that it’s planted in. I’m hoping that the ones I’ve planted along the way blossom early and often and share their own kind of beauty with those that they love.

Going to plant
a weeping willow,
On the bank’s green edge
it will grow, grow, grow.
Sing a lullaby
beside the water,
lovers come and go,
the river roll, roll, roll

Many people, as they age, seem to get harder and harder in their views and outlooks on certain things. It’s like this impenetrable wall has been erected that separates them from what they once were to what they have become. I think it’s pessimism and it’s a terrible way to live out whatever time you have left.

When I go, and let’s hope that it’s a very long time from now, I want this song played at whatever function is deemed appropriate. These last words say it all.

Fare you well,
fare you well,
I love you more
than words can tell,
Listen to the river
sing sweet songs
to rock my soul.

See Grateful Dead lyrics for any questions concerning copyright.

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